If you've followed me for any length of time you know that I really appreciate Beautycounter's line of cleaner, safer skincare and cosmetics. I don't like or use every single product, but what I do use has genuinely changed the beauty game for me.
I'm going to share my favorite Beautycounter skincare products below and then explain why I trust Beautycounter and support its mission.
The charcoal mask was the first Beautycounter product I was really over the moon about. I saw a dramatic difference in my skin after just one use.
Wild, but legit.
Activated charcoal is a powerful binder that works to adhere to and remove toxins and impurities from the skin. (Incidentally, you can also use activated charcoal capsules internally in cases of stomach flu or food poisoning because of the same binding action.)
I had tried other clean charcoal masks before investing in Beautycounter's version, and while they were also effective, I found them to be frustrating to apply. BC's mask goes on smoothly comparatively and has a refreshing, minty smell.
The Brightening Oil was a top pick for Allure Magazine's 2017 Best of Beauty Awards, with good reason. It's packed with vitamin C and and works to even out skin tone, remedy dark spots, and hydrate.
Like the charcoal mask, I saw an immediate difference when I incorporated the Brightening Oil into my nightly routine. My skin felt uncharacteristically soft and within an application or two, started to glow. (I realize that sounds totally canned, but I swear it's true!)
The Countermatch Adaptive Moisture lotion contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring acid in the joints, connective tissue, and skin, which works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by repairing and maintaining the natural lipid layer of the skin. When the lipid layer is intact, the skin experiences optimal levels of moisture; not too little and not too much.
Initially I was reluctant to try the Countermatch lotion because I was so pleased with my charcoal mask and brightening oil routine, but it won me over quickly once I tried it. I use the lotion as a daytime moisturizer, and especially before applying makeup. It absorbs very quickly, is lightweight, and makes for an especially smooth makeup application.
I also appreciate it as an on-the-go moisturizer to throw in my purse.
I put off purchasing the cult favorite Cleaning balm for a while because - let's face it - the sticker shock is real, and frankly I wasn't sure how a cleanser could be THAT mind blowing.
What I've since learned is that the Cleansing Balm is a multi-functional product with a variety of effective uses. In addition to acting as a gentle but impressive makeup remover and cleanser, the Cleansing Balm can be used as a moisturizer, as an overnight hydrating mask, as highlighter over makeup, as spot treatment for minor scrapes, burns, or problem dry skin (think elbows and heels), to treat sunburn or diaper rash, and as an all-in-one travel product.
Raspberry and cranberry seed oils give the balm a delicious consistency, which is somewhere in between a luxe body oil and the perfect lotion. When I'm not using Makeup Remover Wipes, the Cleansing Balm is my go-to makeup remover and leaves my face feeling soft and hydrated.
Initially I was not thrilled with the Rejuvenating Eye Cream, because it had been recommended to me for dark circles, which it definitely didn't help. (To date, the only thing that has gotten rid of my dark circles is pregnancy. Weird, but I think it has to do with increased blood volume during that time.)
I continued to use it, figuring it couldn't hurt, and I've found that over time it has reduced the appearance of fine lines around my eyes. It's also very cooling, and I look forward to putting it on my exhausted mom eyes at the end of the day.
The Makeup Remover Wipes are a mainstay for me. One wipe takes off all of my makeup, including heavy eye makeup. I keep my wipes right next to the couch, so when I'm feeling lazy I can forgo my longer routine and remove my makeup without even getting up. (I also keep a container of the Rejuvenating Night Cream next to the wipes, and put that on after my makeup is off. It's cool and soothing, like the eye cream. I wouldn't say it's a must-have product, but I enjoy it.)
I use the charcoal mask 2-3 x per week, but when I'm not using it I sub in the charcoal bar. The bar, like the mask, harnesses the mythical extraction powers of activated charcoal, but tempers it with coconut oil to avoid being overly drying, and make it more appropriate for daily use.
I'm fortunate to rarely have issues with acne, but many people report that regular use of the charcoal bar alone is game changing for acne prone skin.
My typical PM routine:
My typical AM routine:
The abridged version: I trust Beautycounter's extensive testing protocol to deliver the safest product possible, without compromising performance. I deeply support its mission ("to get safer products into the hands of everyone") and appreciate its active role lobbying for better regulation in the beauty industry at large.
The long version: When I was in school to become an Integrative Nutritionist, I gave up my beloved department store serums and creams. I couldn't get passed the laundry list of toxic ingredients, including many hormone disrupting agents. (A hard NO for a newlywed with babies on the brain.)
For years I only used food grade oils and water on my skin. I basically forgot that any other options existed.
I started buying Beautycounter makeup before exploring the skincare line, following years of TRYING to use safer makeup brands but inevitably going back to my toxic arsenal when they failed to work well.
Then I started hearing rave reviews about the charcoal mask, and decided I needed to find out if it was as life changing as people were claiming it was... I was obsessed from my first application. From that point, my interest in Beautycounter's skincare snowballed to include all of the items listed above.
While I had no serious qualms with my face before using Beautycounter's skincare, I didn't realize how good my skin COULD look with a little extra attention. My routine improved my complexion big time, and it wasn't long before I was getting complimented left and right. I declared it a WIN.
A word on safety...
Beautycounter is a Certified B Corporation, meaning it meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Because the beauty industry is so unregulated, brands are not obligated to screen for heavy metals, or a variety of known harmful contaminants. Beautycounter elects to screen extensively, however, and is transparent about its findings, never claiming perfection, but using the data to continue to refine products to be as safe as possible, while maintaining performance.
For example, Beautycounter tests every batch of product released to ensure that heavy metals are at acceptably low levels, and even sources its clay from Italy because U.S. clay proved to be too high in heavy metals. (Unfortunately, zero heavy metals is not a reality in our increasingly toxic environment. Beautycounter is transparent about this, and continues to work to ensure levels are as low as possible.)
*Note: When a brand claims they are metal-free, it may be because they have not actually screened for metals and are simply trusting the source of their ingredients. Any clay sourced in the U.S. (used for pressed powders, eye-shadows, blush, etc.) is likely problematic, "organic" or not. Clay from other regions may be lower in metals, but not completely devoid of them.
In addition, Beautycounter has banned the use of over 1500 harmful or questionable ingredients in its products, including several known hormone disrupting agents (AKA endocrine disrupters).
To put that in perspective... THE UNITED STATES ONLY BANS 30 INGREDIENTS.
Not only is Beautycounter stepping up to do a hellava' lot better for us than our government is where beauty safety is concerned, but it uses a portion of every sale to fuel its efforts in Washington to lobby for safer regulations in the beauty industry at large.
The company is fighting for a world where women who CAN'T afford to shell out for cleaner / safer beauty products are still protected. That, I can get behind.